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Osborne Boards the Gravy Train

Patricia Gibson MP has hit out at Westminster's Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) which signs off jobs for ex-ministers, for allowing former Chancellor George Osborne MP to join the roster of the Washington Speakers Bureau.

Fees earned by clients are reputed to range from £40,000 to £230,000 for a single speech. Those on their books include Nick Clegg MP and former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, with Mr Blair reputedly charging up to £200,000 a time.

Said Patricia:

"Rather than rushing to jump on the lecture circuit gravy train, Mr Osborne should remember that he has constituents to serve.

"It is disgraceful that serving MPs are hawking themselves around, forgetting that Parliament is not just about being a Cabinet Minister; it is about representing constituents in the Commons and the constituency.

"Nick Clegg has been almost invisible in Parliament this last year, whilst in April he was paid £30,000 for making a speech in Geneva. If he is now 'too important' to be a mere backbencher he should resign his seat.

"ACOBA needs to take a long hard look at itself. It is supposed to ensure no conflict of interest when looking at jobs for ex-ministers, yet it has never blocked a single appointment.

"Mr Osborne and Mr Clegg already have jobs, as MPs. It is high time they took their responsibilities seriously."

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